Turkish Information

Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia and Thrace in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north.

Separating Anatolia and Thrace are the Sea of Marmara and the Turkish Straits , which are commonly reckoned to delineate the boundary between Europe and Asia, thereby making Turkey a country of significant geostrategic importance. Ethnic Turks form the majority of the population, followed by the Kurds. The predominant religion in Turkey is Islam and its official language is Turkish.

The Turks began migrating into the area now called Turkey in the eleventh century. The process was greatly accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of Manzikert. Several small emirates and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum ruled Anatolia, until the Mongol Empire's invasion. Starting in the thirteenth century, the Ottomans emirate united Anatolia and created an empire encompassing much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. After the Ottoman Empire collapsed following its defeat in World War I, parts of it were occupied by the victorious Allies. A cadre of young military officers, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, organized a successful resistance to the Allies; in 1923, they would found the modern republic of Turkey with Atatürk as its first president.

Wikipedia, Turkish, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey (as of May 16, 2010)

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